Freeze! And support this MND fundraiser

By Ivy Jensen

THE Big Freeze is coming to Echuca-Moama.

And it’s taking 800 bags of ice and about 16 cubic litres of water to do it.

The inaugural event next month will see about 19 local personalities sliding into a giant pool of ice water, all in the name of raising funds for Fight MND – Australia’s leading independent foundation funding research into a cure for Motor Neurone Disease.

‘‘A number of sliders are raising at least $1000 each and will brave the icy plunge on the day, supported by family, friends and the local community,’’ organiser Naomi Beasley said.

‘‘The person who raises the most money will win the title of King or Queen of Echuca-Moama Big Freeze.’’

Organisers hope to raise $30,000 from the event, with the tally almost at $18,000 on Thursday.

Ollie Reyne, who was topping the leaderboard last week with $1820, thanked everyone for their support.

‘‘I’m just the one sliding down the slide. It’s everyone else who has put in the money,’’ he said.

Joining the challenge was a no-brainer for Ollie.

His mate Garry Guthrie died from MND in January last year at the age of 58, after a two-year battle.

‘‘It was very quick, from diagnosis to him being in a wheelchair and needing help with day-to-day things,’’ he said.

‘‘He was my neighbour and I think I shared a beer with him nearly every day for five to six years.

‘‘I’m just a small piece in this challenge but if I can make a small difference for loved ones affected by MND then it’s worth it.’’

Since being nominated for the challenge, Wharparilla Lodge lifestyle co-ordinator Cassie Powell said she had been approached by so many people affected by the disease.

‘‘I was really surprised to see how many people are affected by it. That’s been the biggest eye-opener for me,’’ she said.

For Moama Football and Netball Club president David Grubb, it was about involving the club in a community effort.

‘‘It’s good for the kids to see people putting their hands up for a special event like this,’’ he said.

Naomi said the funds raised by the Big Freeze Echuca-Moama would go directly to the top research facilities in Australia to help increase understanding of MND, develop treatments, and eventually find a cure.

‘‘The fight against MND is vital,’’ she said.

‘‘We are proud to launch this event in Echuca-Moama, bringing together the community, uniting with a shared objective to fight the beast that is MND.’’

The family fun day will be held on June 10, the Queen’s birthday public holiday, at Moama Recreation Reserve with entertainment for all ages.

‘‘Along with the big slide, there’ll be a football clinic, market stalls, a big screen broadcasting the Collingwood versus Melbourne AFL game live, as well as the MCG Big Freeze,’’ Naomi said.

For details of individual participants and their progress, go to